Book Sharing

This month I would like to share a book entitled “Why Is Faith Necessary” that contains a series of articles written by Hajime Kawai, vice chief of the Soka Gakkai Study Department. ‘You are as good as you think’ page 22 caught my eye and as I ponder through I asked myself ‘Am I really that good?’ Dr. Hideki Yukawa, a noted Japanese physicist, said: “Life appeared in the universe and evolved into higher forms such as human beings, who are able to accomplish so much. This demonstrates the magnificent creative force that exists in the universe and manifests itself in many diverse ways. The life force of the human being is one of the myriad ways in which this great creative force reveals itself. In fact, human creativity can be viewed as the highest expression of this universal force.” The foundation or essence of the universal life force that Dr. Yukawa speaks of is known in Buddhism as the Mystic Law, or Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Unlike other religions that require belief in a supreme or all-powerful being on whom one must rely for salvation, Buddhism clarifies the fundamental law that permeates all life, and teaches us how to tap the limitless power of this law from within. This law is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Nichiren Daishonin states: “Even a tarnished mirror will shine like a jewel if it is polished. A mind which presently is clouded by illusions originating from the innate darkness of life is like a tarnished mirror, but once it is polished it will become clear, reflecting the enlightenment of immutable truth. Arouse deep faith and polish your mirror night and day. How should you polish it? Only by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” (MV-1, 5). When we chant daimoku to the Gohonzon, we are expressing our belief in the magnificence of our own lives, and polishing ourselves internally in order to tap the tremendous power that resides within. Nothing is wondrous as human life. But this is often hard for us to believe. How often have we told ourselves “I can’t do this” or “I’m not good at that.” We may also hear from others about our shortcomings in certain areas. However, it is we ourselves who decide to accept the appraisals of others and look down on ourselves. Ultimately we must be the ones who judge ourselves. Ignorance of our own great potential and lack of confidence in ourselves stems from the “fundamental darkness” that exists deep within us. This darkness or illusion leads us to waste our potential, while it is faith in the Gohonzon that enables us to fully appreciate it and put it to use. Faith in the Gohonzon functions like an “engine” to propel us toward the great hopes and goals we have set for ourselves. In his poem “To My Young American Friends,” SGI President Ikeda states: Faith is — To fear nothing, To stand unswayed, The power to surmount Whatever the obstacle. Faith is the source of all solutions, An engine to sail through, On a thrilling voyage of life, A life victory over all. The correct attitude or spirit of faith is to challenge whatever problems or obstacles now face us with great hope and a dream for the future. Rather than asking: “What’s going to happen?” it is important to ask “What can I do now?” Therefore, we should not practice faith passively, without a goal or dream for the future, nor should we have the casual attitude that things will naturally work out well simply because we chant daimoku. Instead, we should cherish great hopes and dreams for the future and challenge ourselves to achieve them with the “engine” of faith. To me, I realized that Gohonzon has always cared for us and also loved us. Sometimes when I am chanting, a sense of great joy kept generating from within my heart. Hopes and courage kept coming… To my comrades, even if things seemed bleak, “I don’t know what I’m doing now”, “I go out for activities without knowing why I want to do so”, “They ask me to do (activities), so I did as they wished for” or … Please summon up all the courage you have to chant in front of Gohonzon. Daimoku is the basis of everything. Praying to Gohonzon earnestly, with the confidence in you yourselves and in Gohonzon, also taking lead in the 24K campaign, nothing is impossible. When we have the thought “I can’t do this”, we are actually underestimating our limits and also the power of Gohonzon. Come, my comrades, please do not give up! Let’s challenge all the impossible together. Let’s encourage each other when we are down. Let us move together as one in the 24K campaign and achieve total victory! ~*aNnA*~